It’s June before the 2016 US elections and things are a bit out of the ordinary. Business tycoon Austin Howard is the unlikely dark-horse for the Republicans. A former senator, Secretary of State and former First Lady Samantha Thompson is battling it out at the Democratic primaries with Senator Leland Anthony, the popular favorite. While the public is being entertained by the mud-slinging Presidential candidate debates, General William Mendenhall, retired commander, becomes increasingly alarmed about the underlying motives for the Presidential orders that cut military spending but increase militarization of federal agencies. The whole world is watching as the days count down to the election.
Although Cancelled: The Ultimate October Surprise by Michael Pinsky is a work of fiction, a number of characters could be easily identified as having some basis in reality. This added to the intrigue and the what-if scenarios but also was a little confusing. For instance, several actual episodes of the Trump/Clinton race are presented through the eyes of Austin Howard of Samantha Thompson, thereby accrediting things not known to be true as motives for the real events. Then worldwide terrorist attacks were mentioned in the text, along with fictionalized attacks making it difficult to keep the parallel universes straight at times. Despite this, the political story that unfolded was riveting. Perhaps there is something to all those conspiracy theories after all.
I had more trouble following the covert military sections. Instead of prose, most of the story was advanced through dialogue. There were multiple characters to keep track of including retired and active duty military personnel, senators, governors, and terrorists. Not being terribly military aware, I couldn’t say if the maneuvers were more or less authentic or boys playing soldier.
If you followed the 2016 elections as carefully as I did, I believe you would enjoy this book. If you are following the political developments under POTUS 45 since his election, I believe you would find the book incredibly interesting. Could the events that are depicted in this fiction book actually happen? Only time will tell.
I rate this book a 3 out of 4. I could not, in all conscience, rate this book higher, however much I enjoyed it, because of the number of typographical errors and poorly worded sentences. The dialogue was forced and repetitive in many instances. A good editor would be able to fix these errors and add to the quality of the book.